Member Article

Birmingham special needs School welcomes students back with a smile, thanks to donation of transparent face masks

A leading Special Needs School in North Birmingham has welcomed Students back for the new academic term with a smile, thanks to a donation of transparent face masks from regional Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] provider, PPE for the UK.

Located in Erdington, Wilson Stuart School is one of the City’s leading Special Needs Schools, having achieved six consecutive ‘Outstanding’ reports from Ofsted, with the latest published in March 2019.

Despite the challenge of COVID-19, the School, led by Executive Headteacher, Simon Harris, has focused on maintaining its high standards of teaching throughout the pandemic, regardless as to whether lessons are delivered online or in school, whilst ensuring pupils are kept safe and supported.

Key to this has been the introduction of vital PPE equipment, such as face coverings. However, as many pupils have communication difficulties and other complex needs, full face masks have often impacted on engagement between staff and pupils, forcing the School to look for alternative measures, such as visors.

The new, donated transparent face masks will, therefore, enable students to see the full facial expressions of their teachers and support staff, eliminating any communication difficulties whilst helping to keep both pupils and staff safe when in School.

Simon Harris, Executive Headteacher for Wilson Stuart, confirmed: We are so grateful to PPE for the UK for donating these fantastic transparent face masks. The staff have been using them during this first week back, despite the national lockdown, as we are open to support our key worker parent families and our most vulnerable students. The students are benefitting hugely from being able to see the mouths of all of the staff when they are teaching them and staff have commented how much easier it is to be viewing screens without having to look through a visor. This product really is the best of both worlds and is a great alternative to a fabric mask or a plastic visor.

The latest product range to be launched by PPE for the UK, the transparent face masks are approved by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and are both fog and latex free, whilst allowing people to see full facial expressions to significantly improve communication.

Focused on supporting members of the community through this challenging period, PPE for the UK have donated 500 transparent face masks to the Special Needs school, which successfully caters for 333 pupils with Physical and learning difficulties between the ages of 2 – 25.

Founder and CEO of PPE for the UK, Mark O’Sullivan, added: “Wilson Stuart is clearly a very impressive Special Needs School, which is committed to maintaining its high standards of education and support to some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable pupils, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Although a small token, we are very hopeful that the donation of the transparent face masks will make a big difference to both staff and pupils, by helping to improve communication whilst ensuring the School can adhere to and maintain its stringent and effective COVID-response policy.“

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Ford .

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